Community Announcements - ronma|oli4
NEW Premium skin: Loninator (Sheriff Lonestar)

NEW announcer: Coco

NEW announcer: Wildlife documentary

NEW song: Sirens Before The Storm

NEW language: Russian

NEW: Global chat
Looking for a Deathmatch custom game, discussing the newest trending tactics, speculating about items in Voltar’s Vault, it’s all possible in-game with Patch 2.8! With various chat rooms such as General Chat, Gnaw’s Spam Bukkit and Looking For Game to help you find the right people to talk to about whatever you want! The upcoming patch will bring the first version of the Global Chat system, with updates and changes coming in the future.

NEW: Background main menu
We changed the background to something more festive, merry Christmas to all!

AI modding Tools
Added settings to allow bots to aim more like a human to the ActionAimStickAtTarget block.

NEW: added more bots made by the community
If you encounter any issues with these, please report them in their respective topics!
-Derpl by TheMesp
-Penny Fox by Flawlesshair
-Raelynn by Veanko (The previous Raelynn bot has been replaced by this new, better one. A fix for the irritating perfect aiming she currently has will also come during the beta but is not in this version yet.)
-Scoop by Nailcliper
-Sentry by Ignotis
-Skølldir by HarryButchers and hurleybird
-Yuri by Ignotis

NEW features
-Naut icons visible on the minimap, know exactly who’s where at a glance.
-Healthbar and name are now hidden from enemy players in hide areas
-The scoreboard now shows a timer for players that are dead. This timer does not include the droppod time.
-Added option for auto camera in replays to follow only one team instead of both teams (accessible by clicking the autocam button again)
-Split up SFX volume into voices, announcer and other sfx in options menu

NEW achievements
We added 8 new achievements. We also added some character specific achievements to make sure you get a taste of all the Awesomenauts. We are hoping to create more character specific achievements in the future. Can you guess all the cartoon references? :)
-Bouncing bear juice - Become AWESOME.
-Snorkle pipe boost - Kill the Solar boss before the 2:10 minute mark.
-Clunk: No might can stop this oil can! - Get the maximum possible health with Clunk (3800).
-Clunk: Part robot, part human. Mostly robot. - Kill Ted Mc Pain as Clunk.
-Coco: Swiftly through the forest - Race from Solar Drill to Solar Drill in less than 12 seconds on Sorona.
-Coco: Befriending a red bat - Win a game together with Skree.
-Gnaw: Wrecking Wilson's garden - Feed the weedlings to the worm 10 times.
-Gnaw: Attack of the botanic army! - Place 100 weedlings.

Colourblind improvements
-There is now a colourblind functionality setting that will turn healthbars red and blue. Neutral creeps will retain their original green colour when this setting is turned on.
-Changed DoT (now purple) and Damaged (now off-white) colours on the healthbar to be better compatible with newly implemented colourblind functionality

General improvements
-Gnaw, Raelynn and Ayla are now available right from the start and don’t have to be unlocked any more (only relevant to new players or players who had not unlocked them yet).
-Fixed that things like grenades and anchor collided with the sides of glass platforms
-Fixed that damage increase icon (sword) was still visible when in stealth
-Added a visual countdown for the Eye of Aiguillon invisibility buff
-The Core’s damage state had a date with Nicola Tesla for a more shocking visual effect.
-Capped profile name in main menu to 16 characters
-Improved anti-aliasing on text for better readability, and making it less pixely
-Added a visual indicator on the HUD for the following skills with a secondary press interaction: Coco’s Ball Lightning, Raelynn’s Snipe, Derpl’s Nuke, Swiggins’ Anchor Drop, Sentry’s Black Hole Sun, Skree’s Saw blade.
-Improved the auto camera feature in replays to better choose the coolest moments (improvements around kills by droids, the start of the match and large amounts of damage).
-The bot for Genji has been removed from the game. Its win percentage was well below that of other bots so getting him in your team was too big of a disadvantage. If the community can create a better Genji bot he might be brought back later on.
-Fixed a freeze issue some users were experiencing during startup and game quit
-Added language setting to ingame options menu
-Fixed that AFK timers had accidentally been set back to 90 and 150 seconds in patch 2.6. These were increased to 120 and 180 seconds in patch 2.5.6 and were supposed to still be that way. [TESTEN MET ANDEREN IN POTJE, WERKTE NIET SOLO IN BATTLE]

Polished sound
-Lonestar’s gun has a new more awesome sound
-Added impact sounds for whenever someone is hit by anything. We already had pain sounds for hits but there is now also a sound that represents the hit itself. This sound differs with whether the character is a metal or flesh character.
-The SUSI announcer got some extra voice lines.

Polished attack graphics
-Skølldir’s earthquake now looks approximately 3.14 times cooler
-Froggy G’s Fish Gun impact and bullet graphic effects have been slightly improved
-Lonestar’s Blaster impact and bullet graphic effects have been slightly improved
-Lonestar’s Blaster bullet graphic now slightly scales bigger for each tier of Eagle Bullets and Crystal eagle bullets.
-Lonestar’s and Derpl’s rocket impact and bullet graphic effects have been slightly improved.
-Leon’s Sword attack now shows an impact graphic on enemies you hit.
-Voltar’s Healing wave charge-up graphic has been slightly improved
-Derpl’s Turret attack impact and bullet graphic effects have been slightly improved.
-Derpl’s Turret attack bullet graphic now slightly scales bigger for each tier of Hollow point bullets.
-Clunk’s Missiles bullet graphic effects have been slightly improved
-Added anti-aliasing to skill icons (in the skill dock at the bottom of the screen during gameplay) to make them look better on lower resolutions
-Added a small lightning spark to Ayla’s rage ability
-Improved teamcolour on Sentry’s shot and abilities.
-Added fidelity to the heal aura on Voltar’s healpod ability.
-Healpod visual has been scaled down.
-Sentry’s abilities and auto attack shots have improved teamcolour.
-Improved teamcolour on Ted’s Airstrike.
-Froggy’s Dash and Whirlwind have improved teamcolour.
-Coco’s Ball Lightning has improved visuals and teamcolour.

Wraith Stone
We realized the item we created to replace Solar Tree wasn’t used by many players. We are trying to find a useful yet balanced solution. During the beta we tested out a new upgrade called Zork’s Barrier. From the feedback we got we found out that some players prefer Wraithstone (+heal from critters) and some others
Community Announcements - ronma|oli4


Patch 2.8 is now live, featuring in-menu global chat and a new Lonestar skin, 2 new announcers, a new song, Russian language support and a whole batch of polish and balance changes! There's also 9 new achievements and a colourblind setting!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/333170
http://store.steampowered.com/app/333160
http://store.steampowered.com/app/333150
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Shaun Green)

Screened is a fiendish little free platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy with a scratchy, itchy post-punk soundtrack that’s a perfect match: both are like fingernails run down a blackboard, yet both unavoidably draw you in.

The game was built for the Ludum Dare 31 game jam, the theme of which was “the entire game on one screen”. Screened spins its single screen out into multiple levels by moving around obstacles and barriers every time you reach the exit, with each new spin on the screen throwing new challenges into your face whilst laughing at your incompetence and displeasure.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
Why I Love

In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, we get into the swing, as Phil explains his love of grappling hooks.

If you go back through the Why I Love articles I've written to date—stealth on shipsTF2's Scout or playing Chinese-style opera in Audiosurf—all have, to a greater or lesser extent, been about systems or experiences that change how you traverse through a level. The Scout can double-jump. Ship-based stealth levels are tighter and more claustrophobic than their inevitable "big warehouse" counterpart. Monkey Bee has one of the most distinct middle-sections I've yet to see emerge from Audiosurf's level generator.

A satisfying traversal system isn't the only thing I look for in a game, but it is one of a few broad areas that define my taste. If I can move around a game in interesting ways, then I will probably like it. I like Prototype—a game in which you can run up, and leap off, and glide over buildings—even though a part of me suspects that it's really a bit rubbish. I'm a somewhat overweight guy in his thirties. Sometimes it's nice to tell gravity to go and do one.

There's another traversal tool that I consistently love in games: the grappling hook. My appreciation for good grappling hooks—and good here doesn't mean realistic—started with the original version of Worms. Friends and I would play multiplayer matches with a very specific set of rules: no turn timer, unlimited girders, and unrestricted access to the grappling hook (or "ninja rope," as it's called in-game). You can use the ninja rope multiple times per turn, and we gave ourselves unlimited time to make our way across the map. With these rules, a worm can travel from one side to the other—their turn ending only if they take fall damage.

That's where the girders came in. We'd place them above the level, both to protect our own guys from air strikes and to have more surfaces to grapple on to. Worms' rope mechanics are, in essence, bizarre. They're also consistent in their implementation, which led us to a great understanding of their potential. With some effort, it's possible to swing 180 degrees and beyond—eventually landing on top of the platform the worm is swinging from. The trick is to extend the rope fully, smack into a solid surface, and then retract. That maximises the speed boost from bouncing off the wall, and, with luck, propels the worm up and around. 

To anyone but those directly involved in the match, this was an unspeakably tedious spectacle. To us, it was thrilling.

Subsequent Worms games enforced turn times, essentially ruining my enjoyment of them. But a few other 2D games feature that same spirit of exploitable traversal. Trine is, intentionally or not, all about this. One of its three characters is a Thief, and her grappling hook allows for a similarly awkward battle against physics. Here, you can even grapple onto one surface, break off and re-attach to another, all while still in mid-swing. You can, on select levels, chain these swings—at times resulting in long, unbroken stretches of undulation. 

Used properly, it can be a graceful tool. But both Trine games also contain a secret hidden mini-game for grappling hook aficionados. This game is called "can I use the Thief to complete this section, even though it was obviously designed for the Wizard?" Often, the answer is yes.

At this point, I should probably point to another 2D grappling hook game—one designed entirely around swinging as the main method of level traversal. It's called Floating Point, it's free, and it was made by PC Gamer's former section editor Tom Francis. It's a more sedate grapple-space to move through, and rare in that its freedom of movement is the idea rather than an exploitable quirk in the engine. If you're here because you like grappling hooks, then it's relevant to your interests.

In three-dimensions, the grappling hook is a less sure-fire hit. Too often, it's restricted—kept to specific grapple-points in order to stop the player breaking the level in ridiculous ways. Most recently, you can see this in Far Cry 4. You have a grappling hook! You can jump from the rope and re-attach it to another point before hitting the ground! You can only do this at specifically marked points around the map. I'd like you to imagine a sort of anti-exclamation mark, and place it on the end of that last sentence.

Some games are better at it this than others, and they tend to be the ones that are more open about their freedom of movement. Arkham City's Grapnel Gun combos satisfyingly with the glide. You can't swing, but you can shoot it to build speed across the map—using it to all but fly. And then there's Just Cause 2, or Let's Do Fun Shit With A Grappling Hook: The Game. You can attach onto a plane, or to cars, or to an explosive barrel that is shooting vertically into the air. You can use it in conjunction with a parachute to create a free-form system of movement more distinct and enjoyable than any of the game's vehicles.

Maybe that's another reason why grappling hooks, specifically, are one of my favourite methods of traversal. They're inherently ridiculous. There is no way to put an unrestricted grappling hook in a game and still have it be a serious tool, because it's either inherently exploitable or inherently unrealistic. It is a jointly a tool for motion and a tool for fun. 

Case in point: the 3D version of Bionic Commando. It had a grappling hook as its central gimmick, and yet its story still felt the need for a Serious Emotional Payload. How was that done? With the late-game reveal that your bionic grapple-arm was also your wife. Your wife, who was used to create a strong emotional bond with the robo-limb.

That is dumb. But that is what happens when you try to inject emotional pathos into a game with a grappling hook—it throws off your sense of what's appropriate. At some point, a developer must have questioned whether wife-in-a-robo-arm was good storytelling. I suspect they saw their hero swinging care-free through a city and lost all sense of perspective. "Yes," this hypothetical employee thought, "it makes total sense that this bionic commando's arm is his wife."

It didn't, though. It was stupid. That's why grappling hooks can never be serious. Not true, freeform, use-'em-wherever-you-like grappling hooks. They're silly and fun—a tool for engaging with, perfecting, and enjoying the feeling of motion. They are, in practice and philosophy, the opposite of a wife in an arm.

More grappling hooks; less wives in robot arms. That feels like a strange place to end things, but also like good words to live by.

Community Announcements - Coco
An all new announcer is coming with Patch 2.8: Contact! Coco Nebulon takes the mic as she tries to stay focused on the battle at hand. She will probably be distracted all the time though by all the shiny lights and her girlfriends calling her on her cell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I91qLErTgPg
Announcement - Valve
Save up to 90% on all Daedalic Entertainment Titles as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

Daedalic Armageddon Bundle - 80% off
Blackguards - 75% off
Blackguards: Untold Legends - 33% off
Deponia: The Complete Journey - 60% off
Munin - 75% off
Randal's Monday - 20% off
The Last Tinker™: City of Colors - 66% off
Fire - 10% off
Deponia - 80% off
Chaos on Deponia - 75% off
Goodbye Deponia - 66% off
The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav - 66% off
The Whispered World Special Edition - 75% off
1954 Alcatraz - 90% off
A New Beginning - Final Cut - 90% off
Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - 80% off
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes - 80% off
Gomo - 90% off
Journey of a Roach - 90% off
Memoria - 75% off
The Night of the Rabbit - 75% off

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

Community Announcements - ronma|oli4
We've partnered with Alienware and Gosugamers.net to bring you a real treat: The Alienware Awesome cup! With over 4000$ in cash and prizes, this will be by far the biggest Awesomenauts competitive tournament to date! We are gathering the best Awesomenauts players and you could be joining them. Compete for cash prizes, the Alienware Alpha and most importantly - bragging rights!

http://www.awesome-cup.com

Community Announcements - contact
We have just uploaded build 1160, which contains PC compatibility fixes. Please let us know if you run into any issues with this new build.

Cheers,

Francois
Empty Clip Studios
Community Announcements - ronma|oli4
Some brand new Steam Acheevs are coming with Awesomenauts Patch 2.8!

http://www.awesomenauts.com/Vault

PC Gamer

Back in September, Frozenbyte released the Trine 2 editor into public beta. Since then, a number of community-created maps have made their way onto the game's Steam Workshop page. Those maps are now highlighted in a new trailer for the game.

Trine 2 is a protagonist-switching platformer in which you shift between three characters—a wizard, a knight and a thief—all trapped in the same body. More accurately, it's a protagonist-switching platformer in which you try to break the physics engine by doing improbable things with the thief's grappling hook.

It's good, and I'm glad the release of the editor has spurred the community in making new stuff for the game.

...

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